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Fort Smith, Ark., January 27th, 1866.


I...That all may have a full and clear understanding of the rights of the Freedmen of the Indian Territory, and the liabilities of such persons as retain and employ them without any specific contract, the following principles or rules are published:

1st. Every Freedman, woman and child, retained by, or for any person without a definite contract, is entitled to receive from the party so retaining them, or for whom he or she works, so much as his or her labor and time, is reasonably worth, at any time within six years, before any competent tribunal.

2d. The father, if living, and if not, the mother or guardian, is entitled to the pay and compensation for any person without a definite contract, is entitled to the pay and compensation for the services and labor of the child.

3rd. The husband is entitled to the compensation for the labor and services of his wife, when the parties are living and co-habiting together.

4th. Any person who refuses to deliver a child, to his or her parent or guardians, upon demand or request made by such parent, or guardian, becomes liable to a suit in the U. S. District Court, at the instance of the party entitled to the custody of the child, for damages for false imprisonment, and to have such child taken from them, by a writ of Habeas Corpus.

5th. Contracts for work and labor of minor children, will in all cases, when possible, be made with their parents, or guardians, and will, in all cases, provide for the subsistence, clothing, and if possible, for a certain amount of schooling for the child, each year.

6th. Contracts for the labor of the wife, must, in all cases, when possible, be made with the husband.

The slave code, or laws relating to the Negroes of the respective Indian tribes, who have held slaves, are no longer in force, and will not be executed. The United States Government having abolished slavery throughout its domains; the laws relating to slaves, are no longer of any force or validity, and any officer of any of the nations who executes the same, will be liable to be arrested and

[[stamped]] BUREAU R. F. & A. L.
FEB 12
WASHINGTON [[/stamped]]
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